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March 2, 2011

AltaLink reaches important project milestone

Calgary, Alberta – Alberta's largest transmission provider reached an important milestone in its efforts to reinforce Alberta's aging transmission system.

AltaLink has submitted its application for the Western Alberta Transmission Line to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). This proposed line will reinforce the backbone of the transmission system between the Edmonton and Calgary areas which has not seen an upgrade in nearly 40 years.

"This transmission line is critical to the reliability of the electricity system," says Leigh Clarke, Senior Vice President of External Engagement. "The transmission system connects diverse power sources in the province to the electricity grid – wind, high?efficiency coal, natural gas and others. Connecting a mix of power sources keeps the system reliable and helps keep costs low for Albertans."

AltaLink has been consulting with stakeholders since January 2010 and has sent information to more than 25,000 residences in the project area, hosted 23 open houses and 15 information centres and consulted one?on?one with more than 1,500 stakeholders. "Stakeholder input has been critical in identifying the best route for this project," says Clarke.

AltaLink's application includes preferred and alternate routes to connect the generation-rich Genesee area west of Edmonton to the Langdon area east of Calgary.

"This line will directly connect the area of the province generating the most power to the area of the province requiring the most power, and ensure Albertans have access to a cost?effective supply of electricity for years to come," says Clarke.

The AUC is currently hosting information sessions so stakeholders can learn more about the hearing process. If the AUC approves the project, construction could begin in the spring or summer of 2012.

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